Copyright © Southampton Common Forum - 2017


Council has announced its intention to expand and redevelop the overall play area, removing he existing paddling pool and replacing it with naturalistic water play features set in a nature- inspired play environment.

The project has been designed by award winning landscape architects Davies White Ltd.. With input from Council, from several public consultation events held at The Hawthorns and from children at several local schools. The overall theme of the design is re-engaging with nature through play and the features within the new play area will be constructed using natural materials wherever possible.

The project received planning consent in early 2017 and construction is likely to start in late spring with the project open by summer 2017. The new play area will be fenced and designated as a dog-free area. Initial designs showed the boundary fence coming right out to Coronation Avenue, the main north-south pathway leading from the Cowherds, but following representations from, amongst others, Southampton Common and Parks Protection Society (SCAPPS), Council agreed to relocate the eastern boundary fence to west of the trees lining Coronation Avenue in order to preserve the view across the wider Common.

playground concept Davies White.PNG

Playground Concept © Davies White Ltd.
(Click on the image for a larger view)

It is proposed to link the new play area to The Hawthorns (where cafe and toilet facilities are located) by a new gravel path of gentler gradient than the current path.

As for most development on registered Common land, Council has had to apply to the Government for what is known as Section 38 Consent for the works to be undertaken.

More information

Davies White - Common playground redevelopment project details

Davies White - projects gallery

Southampton City Council information on the proposal

Southampton City Council planning application for the playground redevelopment project

Southampton City Council Section 38 application (pdf)